Bamboo Diary

The purpose of this bamboo diary is to provide you with seasonal care information for growing and maintaining these plants in your garden.

Spring

Although you can plant bamboos at almost any time of year in warmer climates, the best time is very early spring.

As new canes emerge between early spring and summer, planting in early spring provides you with the benefit of seeing new bamboo growth very quickly.

Planting later than this is fine but you won't see growth so quickly.

See my page on plant bamboo for detailed information on planting.

Late spring is a good time to fertilize. See Caring for Bamboo Plants...

Summer

Red Bamboo

Your bamboos will be growing more roots during this period and the rhizomes will be spreading in mid to late summer.

The rhizome growth will extend out from a few feet from the main plant to several feet away, gaining energy from the existing leaves and canes, and sending up new canes from buds on these rhizomes. Also see my page on bamboo rhizome barrier.

You can fertilize in mid summer. See caring for bamboo plants...

If you are having a dry summer it may be necessary to water bamboos to achieve the best results.

Bamboo Windbreak Hedge

Autumn

Autumn is the time of year in your bamboo diary where you may need to exercise activities to gain control of your bamboos. This is particularly relevant to the running species as they will no doubt have sprouted rhizomes over the summer months and may now need to be tended to prevent the colonisation of new areas where it is not wanted.

You can use the autumn for spacing, cutting, trimming, or pruning bamboo root systems to maintain a compact plant, or for maintaining the growth of windbreaks and hedges to ensure they spread in the right direction.

Use a fork to loosen the soil around the base edge of the main plant and lift the rhizomes so you can cut or sever them with secateurs or a spade.

Remove the resulting pruning from the ground and put the soil back to protect the root system of the main plant.

I have other pages on this site that provide more in depth information specifically related to pruning, control and containment, and rhizome control through barriers. A full list of links to these sections can be found below, including growing bamboos in containers.

Winter

Yellow Bamboo

Your bamboo diary should also include the protection of young plants or plants facing their first winter.

A good mulch round any bamboos will provide protection from frosts and cold dry winds.

See my page on caring for bamboo plants to more tips on mulching and winter protection.

Plants in containers may need to be moved to a more sheltered position to keep them out of hard frosts and to prevent soil from remaining frozen for long periods of time.

Late winter is also a good time to fertilize.